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After aircraft and tanker, it's warship for President

Last updated: 18 December, 2011
Mumbai, Dec 18, (PTI): 23:26 IST

President Pratibha Patils rendezvous with war vehicles continues. She is scheduled to sail on the INS Subhadra, an off-shore patrol vessel, on December 20 at the Presidential Fleet Review (PFR).

The spectre will comprise the aircraft carrier INS Virat, Kilo-Class submarines, MiG-29K aircraft and helicopters. Around 8,000 Navy personnel will be present when the President receives a salute from a flotilla of 81 ships and 44 aircraft.

“On Tuesday, 76 warships of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, three merchant marine vessels, one training ship SCC Jaanu and Navy’s only sail ship INS Mhadei will salute the President in a gala ceremony,” said an Indian Navy spokesperson.

The Mumbai coast, venue for the event, has already been fortified by the Western naval Command, in charge of organising the event.

“The PFR is a rare occasion where all the warships, submarines and aircraft assemble together. A lot of security arrangement is also put in place using all the available reconnaissance and surveillance assets,” a Navy official said.

On December 20, the programme will roll with the customary 21-gun salute to the President following which Patil will cover around 20 square nautical miles along which the ships will be anchored, on the INS Subhadra, designated the Presidential Yacht for the occasion.

Apart from the INS Viraat, Rajput-class destroyers, Shivalik, Godavari and Brahmputra-class frigates, Khukri-class missile corvettes, fleet tankers and landing ships will salute the President.

The submarine column will comprise the Sindhughosh and Shishumar-class submarines, Fast Attack Craft, minesweeper vessels and missiles and torpedo boats.
The hydrography survey vessel, ocean-going tugs, sail ships and several coast guard patrol vessels will also be displayed.

The fly past, comprising 44 fighter jets, will be led by the recently inducted MiG-29K aircraft, followed by Sea Harriers. The fighter planes will be followed by choppers and surveillance aircraft of the Navy and Coast Guard.

Adopted from the Royal British Navy, the PFR is organised once during the tenure of a President. So far nine such reviews, including the International Fleet Review in 2001, have taken place.

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